US stocks traded edged higher on Tuesday as investors weighed economic-recovery optimism against disappointing housing data.
New housing starts fell by more than expected in April, reflecting supply constraints and rising home prices nationwide. Residential starts decreased 9.5% to a 1.57 million annualized rate, lower than the consensus estimate of 1.7 million compiled by Bloomberg.
The tepid trading follows a US stocks sell-off on Monday led by technology stocks as investors continued to weigh rising inflation fears. An uptick in COVID-19 cases outside of the US also hurt risk assets.
Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued its slide, falling as much as 5.1%, to $42,547.90. Options traders have piled into bets that bitcoin will fall below $40,000 by next month following an Elon Musk tweet-storm that sent the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization tumbling.
The median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a gain of 873,000 payrolls. The most optimistic estimates pegged job growth at well over 1 million.
“The labor market continues an upward trend of acceleration and growth, posting the strongest reading since September 2020,” Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, said in a statement.
“US stocks are rising after solid economic data, calm in the bond market, and as the global economic recovery improves,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note.
He continued: “The next big catalyst for equities is that the US needs its allies to also win the fight against COVID and that will take time. The gains abroad are greater as the recovery potential in Europe far exceeds what is left for the US.”
Oil prices snapped a two-day winning streak as investors pull back from the recent rally. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.49%, to $65.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 0.23%, to $68.72 per barrel.